Equestrian Shop Online » Horse FAQs » How to Treat and Prevent Equine West Nile Virus in Horses?

How to Treat and Prevent Equine West Nile Virus in Horses?

how to treat and prevent equine west nile virus in horses


Equine West Nile virus (WNV), is a viral infection that can affect horses, donkeys and mules. WNV can be spread by mosquitoes. It can cause paralysis, fever, lethargy and even death. WNV is a serious disease that can be fatal to horses. It must be treated and prevented. We will be discussing the symptoms, treatments, and prevention of Equine WNV in this article.

Equine West Nile virus Symptoms

Fever is the most common symptom for equine WNV. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, muscle weakness, paralysis and even death. Horses may also experience neurological problems, such as trouble walking or tilting their heads.

Equine West Nile virus Treatment

It is crucial to immediately see a veterinarian if a horse suspects they have WNV. A veterinarian will conduct a physical exam on the horse and may take blood samples to confirm that it has WNV. The vet will recommend treatment if a horse is positive for WNV. The vet will recommend either supportive care or antiviral medication depending on the severity.

Antiviral Medications

To treat WNV in horses, antiviral medication, such as Ribavirin, might be prescribed. These medications reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms.

Supportive Care

Horses may be given fluids to avoid dehydration, and nutritional support. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are recommended for horses who cannot stand or walk.


Sometimes, horses may require intensive care. These may include intravenous fluids or medications as well as frequent monitoring of the horse’s vital signs.

Preventing Equine West Nile virus

There are many ways to prevent WNV from horses. These are:

  • Vaccinating horses against WNV
  • Controlling the mosquito population
  • Horses’ mosquito exposure must be limited
  • Horses should be kept in well-ventilated areas


Vaccination is the best way to protect horses against WNV. Horses and donkeys can be vaccinated with vaccines that should be administered on a regular basis. A booster is usually required for vaccines.

Mosquito Control

To reduce the risk of contracting WNV, mosquito populations must be managed on a regular schedule. You can do this by removing standing water and vegetation that allows mosquitoes to breed. Horses can also be protected from mosquitoes by using insect repellents.

Limiting Exposure

Horses should not be allowed to roam in areas where mosquitoes are common, such as wooded areas and wetlands. To reduce mosquito exposure, horses should be kept in areas that are well ventilated.


How often should horses be vaccinated against WNV?

All horses should be vaccinated against WNV annually

What are the symptoms of WNV in horses

Fever, weakness, paralysis and muscle tremors are the most common symptoms of WNV in horses.


Equine West Nile virus can cause serious and even fatal complications for horses. WNV can be prevented by vaccination of horses, controlling mosquito populations and limiting horse exposure to mosquitoes. It is crucial to get veterinary treatment immediately if a horse is suspected of carrying WNV. Horses can be protected against WNV by ensuring that they receive proper treatment and are vigilant for signs of infection. More information about equine WNV can be found here

Visit Wikipedia.org

. Learn more about WNV symptoms and treatment.